The Torah Is Not a Law Book (Jerry Unterman)

The nation of Israel was born into a world that was already culturally old and established. When the Torah appeared, the ancient Near East contained several law collections. CHT fellow Dr. Jerry Unterman explains that unlike other law codes of the ANE, the Torah is not a law book. Rather, its unique framework reveals it to be a treaty—a covenant between God and His people, embedded in a narrative.

Show Notes:

  • 0:26 What is the world of law in the Torah?
  • 6:02 Hammurabi and "If x, then y"
  • 9:58 The ANE laws were never promulgated to the people
  • 12:43 The God who makes a treaty with the people
  • 15:47 Laws for the people to "tend"
  • 16:50 Shared responsibility
  • 17:36 The way the law works
  • 21:43 Michael LeFebvre's contested article
  • 25:53 God is the source of justice
  • 27:28 What's the difference between laws?

Show notes by Dominique LaCroix

Credits for the music TBM podcast: hebraicthought.org/credits.

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